In October 1989, the Vikings thought they were a quality running back away from a Super Bowl. So they placed the most all in of all all-in bets, and it helped deliver not one but three Super Bowls.
But not for the Vikings.
Thirty years ago today, Minnesota traded three first-round picks, three second-round picks, and a bunch of other stuff to get running back Herschel Walker.
Three days later, he’d explode for 148 yards on only 18 carries and one lost shoe in his debut, a 26-14 win over the Packers. And then Walker didn’t have another 100-yard game for the Vikings until Week Two of the 1991 season.
He’d stay in Minnesota through 1991, before being released.
By then, the Cowboys had laid the foundation — thanks to all those extra picks — for the team that would make it to the playoffs in 1991 (Minnesota did not), and that would win the Super Bowl to cap the 1992, 1993, and 1995 seasons. I
n the next draft after trading Walker, the Cowboys selected a guy named Emmitt Smith, who’d become the all-time leading rusher before his retirement. Walker is 43rd on the list.
The trade for Walker remains at the top of the list of worst NFL trades ever, and 30 years later it’s a record that may never be broken. Although Washington has tried (RGIII), and surely will try again.